Republicans Have Mostly Stayed Loyal to Their Party In the Trump Era

Whenever the topic of Donald Trump’s continuing popularity among Republicans comes up, somebody asks if maybe it’s just an artifact of the polling. If moderates are abandoning the Republican Party because of Trump, then simple arithmetic says that most of the folks who are left will be big fans. So then: are people abandoning the Republican Party? Luckily, Charles Franklin has just taken a look and here are his results:

Roughly speaking, not much has happened. Since 2016, Democratic Party ID has been flat at about 46 percent and Republican Party ID is slightly down from 42 percent to 41 percent. There’s just not a lot going on here.

I’ve chosen to highlight the chart that includes leaners, since a lot of research shows that leaners are as reliably Republican as self-professed partisans.¹ They just don’t like to admit it for some reason. However, Franklin has a full set of charts in this thread, including party ID charts that exclude leaners. They show a little more movement—around 4 percentage points—but that’s still a pretty modest amount, and they’ve probably just migrated from Republican to Lean Republican anyway.

Bottom line: at most, there’s been a slight decline in the number of self-IDed Republicans over the past couple of years. But for practical purposes, it’s about zero. All those Republicans who say they love Donald Trump are the same ones who loved Mitt Romney and John McCain and George Bush. They’re just Republicans.

¹Ditto for Democratic leaners.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate